Libertarians condemn potential ‘state of emergency’ power grab

Libertarian Party vows support for political and legal efforts to stop any dangerous concentration of executive authority

The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.

At a Jan. 25 press conference, President Donald Trump announced he had agreed to a deal that would temporarily end the partial shutdown of the federal government until Feb. 15, and suggested that if there were still no approval of funding by that date to construct a wall or barrier along the southern border of the United States, either the government would shut down again or he would declare a state of emergency to secure the funding.

Libertarian Party leadership stands together in opposing the extreme and unprecedented power grab suggested by Trump today. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson wrote in his dissent to Korematsu v. United States, emergency power “lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring plausible claim of an urgent need.”

The Libertarian Party is committed to supporting the efforts of individuals and groups who take the initiative to fight this dangerous reach for power. The U.S. Constitution separates powers between the three branches of the federal government precisely to avoid any one of them becoming too powerful in comparison to the others. Leaders of the Libertarian Party will continue to speak out against concentrations of political power and work tirelessly to recruit and elect candidates who always hold to the principles of individual liberty.

“The Libertarian Party is unwavering in the cause of personal freedom,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “Unilateral executive actions take liberty even further away from the individual and dilute the all-important checks and balances. While Republicans and Democrats fight over misplaced power and play fast and loose with your hard-earned money, the Libertarian Party sees the stories of furloughed workers and ambitious migrants as the failures of a government that is far too big and that does far more harm with its power than good. It is time to fix the problems of insolvency, and that is not achieved by giving more power to the executive branch.”

From Trump to Barack Obama to George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and every prior president, the Libertarian Party has consistently opposed presidential power grabs and every form of federal overreach since its founding in 1971. Democrats and Republicans are united in fighting for government that does more, spends more, and restricts the people more. Only Libertarians are ready to scale back the size, scope, power, and purview of government at every level.